Natives of a village in Nigeria are shying away from marriage following the imposition of a wedding tax.
BBC reports that no one has gotten married in a Kano state village of Nigeria in the past four months after its chief imposed the tax.
Ado Sa’id, the chief of Kera village in north-west Nigeria, according to reports imposed a $377 tax on grooms contemplating marrying.
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The tax replaces the current custom where a prospective groom presents gifts to the bride’s family.
The tax, which according to the chief, is cheaper and intended to make it easier to get married has, however, been pushing prospective grooms away from marriage for the past four months.
Residents of the Kera village have reacted angrily to the imposition of the wedding tax.
According to them, grooms under the previous customs had the freedom to present gifts to the bride’s family at their own convenience.
One such resident, Isah Kera, bemoaned how the new rule has forced some couples out of the village to go and get married elsewhere.
Another troubled resident, Sani Kera told the BBC that five children of his are ready for marriage but plans had to be suspended because of the tax.
Meanwhile, a former chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Sani Dauda, and two others, have been arrested for allegedly giving out his daughter in marriage.
The arrest may have been at the instance of the daughter’s estranged husband, reports Daily Trust.
The two others arrested are the judge of the Sharia Court in Kaduna North Local Government Area, Murtala Nasir, who consummated the marriage held on Saturday, November 9, 2019, and Shehu Dauda, one of Dauda’s sons.
The trio, according to local reports are being detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad office of the Kaduna state police command.
Nigeria second in the world in child marriage
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria has the second-highest number of child brides in the world.
There are 23 million girls and women married out as children in the country, the agency said.
“Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education.
“Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out-of-school children; more than 10.5 million Nigerian children are not in school.
“Nigeria also has the second largest number of child brides in the world with 23 million girls and women married as children, and as such, ending their education,” Pulse quoted UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office (CFO) in Nigeria, Bhanu Pathak as saying at a ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).